Do you have the mental toughness to be a great cricketer?

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This guest post is by Liz Ward.

If you believe you have the power to succeed, to thrive in difficult circumstances and have the characteristics and traits that promote survival, perhaps you have, and as soon as you realise that 80% of your performance is in the mind, you will start to become great!

Of course, technique is important and mental strength is no compensation for lack of skill, but you stand there facing another player who has devoted as much time, effort and yes; blood, sweat and tears, dedicated to their technical education as you.

5 ways to outwit the batsman

Matthew Hoggard is famous for saying bowling is about running in and wanging it down.

That's nothing but bluff from the Hogster as he knows good bowling at any level requires a constant battle of wits with the batsman.

In close situations it is often the player who reads the game best and thinks the most quickly who wins out.

Here is how you can do the same when wanging that ball.

Cricket psychology without the mumbo-jumbo

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Recent research has show that sport psychology techniques work even for people who don't believe in all that mumbo-jumbo.

I'll be the first to admit psychology has a bad reputation in the sporting world. If professional players still view ideas like self-talk and visualisation with suspicion, what chance does the average club player have of using these powerful tools to his or her advantage?

Club players just don't trust the ideas.

Readers Tips: How to get into the zone

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In this new series I am inviting readers to submit their experience, tips and advice on how to improve your cricket. Mansoor Khan kicks things off with a discussion on how he gets himself into the zone while batting. Comments are open for your feedback.

I believe that on game day my frame of mind and how psyched I am before a game really affects the way I bat.

How to stop the yips

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Cricket is a game of the mind.

How else can you explain calm, rational people suddenly going to pieces when they try and bowl?

They have the dreaded yips.

How to improve your technique

Are you looking to improve your technique to play better cricket? You may be looking in the wrong place.

I get a lot of emails asking how I can improve players technique. I love them all, but often the answer is nothing to do with technique at all.

For me, good technique is not something you can learn by the copybook or by getting advice from a coach who has never seen you play. It's a natural consequence of other factors.

Can you try too hard?

Ever heard a conversation at your cricket club go something like this:

Senior Player: That Jim is a good player but he tries too hard.

Club Pro: We will soon get that out of him!
*laughter*

The underlying sentiment seems to be that success is wanted by the club, but you can't be seen to be trying too hard to get it.

What has this story got to do with cricket?

A large parcel delivery company in America has a central warehouse that moves thousands of parcels through every day. Delivery on time is their business so any failure in the conveyor belt means massive losses in profits.

You can guess what happened: The conveyor belt failed.

The company tried to fix it, but everything they tried failed. Time is money so they called in a consultant.

How to play cricket one ball at a time

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Speak to any great cricketer and they will tell you one of the secrets of their success is to play the game one ball at a time.

If you have ever tried to put a mistake out of your mind during a match you will know that playing like this is easier than it sounds. In fact, the phrase has become something of a cliché for players seeking advice when going through a dip in form.

But a cliché it is not.

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